Tuesday, 17 March 2009

US industrial production falls, housing remains deep in recession

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke thinks that with successful government intervention, the US recession will probably end this year.

Monday's economic data don't suggest that the recession is ending soon, but it's still early in the year. Reuters reports the data.

The Federal Reserve said industrial production fell 1.4 percent last month, following a 1.9 percent drop in January. It was also worse than market expectations for a 1.1-percent decline.

Output slid 11.2 percent compared with February 2008, with the index at 99.7, the lowest reading since April 2002, the Fed said...

Industrial capacity utilization dropped to 70.9 February, matching a December 1982 record low for the series, which dates back to 1967, from 71.9 in January, the Fed said...

Separately, the New York Federal Reserve's Empire State factory index showed manufacturing activity in New York State slumped in March, dropping to a record low minus 38.23 in the month from February's minus 34.65...

Housing, which is at the center of the global economic and financial crisis, remains stuck deep in recession. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index was flat at 9 in March, marking a fifth consecutive month of single-digit readings.

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